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Must Pay Rent Into Court Registry in Any Action for Possession in Order to Defend the Suit

In yet another affirmation of the strength of the Florida Landlord Tenant Act, the Fourth District Court of Appeal recently held that a commercial tenant's failure to pay accruing rent into the court registry during the pendency of an eviction proceeding provides an automatic non-discretionary basis to immediately evict the tent even when the landlord seeks eviction for reasons other than non-payment of rent. In Misha Enterprises v. GAR Enterprises, LLC, the trial court ordered the tenant to pay rent accruing during the pendency of the case which sought eviction for reasons other than the non-payment of rent. When the tenant failed to do so, the trial court entered a final judgment of possession against the tenant pursuant to the authority of Fla. Stat. 83.232. The Appellate court reasoned that because 83.232 provides that it applies "[i]n any action by the landlord which includes a claim for possession of real property…" and that Florida Statute 83.20(3) provides for a claim for possession for breach of lease other than for non-payment of rent, the requirements of 83.232 apply to all claims for possession regardless of the basis for same.

The case is a powerful tool for commercial landlords who seek possession of their premises and find themselves having to litigate with tenants who attempt to avoid paying while the case remains pending.

Utilizing this mechanism and others make obtaining possession of commercial leased premises on an expedited basis possible in Florida.